NET stands for neuroendocrine tumor. Neuroendocrine cells are special types of cells commonly located in the linings of gastrointestinal tract (esophagus to rectum), bronchus (airway) and pancreas. They are located elsewhere too. Tumor arising from these cells is called a neuroendocrine tumor or NET. The neuroendocrine cells secrete various hormones depending on their location. However not all NETs secrete tumors. Those that secrete hormones present due to the various effects of these hormones.
PNETs short for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors may arise from the endocrine cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas (islet cell tumors) or so called neuroendocrine cells either in the pancreas or ampulla of Vater (carcinoid tumors) or the duodenum (gastrinomas). The success rate of treatment of these PNETs is much better than the results of treatment of other types of pancreatic cancer.
PNETs can secrete one of six or more different hormones causing different types of illness (or syndrome) and are called functioning neuro- endocrine tumors. Also neuroendocrine tumors may not secret any hormones and are then called non-functioning neuroendocrine tumors. Endocrine tumors can affect individuals at any age and they can even arise in small babies.
Tumors that release excess insulin are called insulinoma. These tumors are nearly always benign, meaning non-malignant and non- cancerous. Tumors that release excess gastrin are called gastrinoma and occur in the pancreas and in the duodenum. These tumors are mostly cancerous. Other types of functioning neuro- endocrine tumors are called glucagonomas, VIPomas, somatostatinomas & PPomas and are usually malignant or cancerous.
PNETs may be inherited and the two main types of hereditary pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are found in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1) & von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), but also in the rare disorders of neuro- fibromatosis type 1 and tuberous sclerosis.
Facing pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors?
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